Rep. Bizzarro Secures Grant for LECOM Police K-9

K-9 program will improve regional security

ERIE, September 10­ – To help law enforcement in Erie tackle the wide array of possible threats they can face, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro has secured a $50,000 grant to launch a K-9 program for Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (LECOM) Police and Security Department. 

“Protecting all the people and facilities from possible threats at a place like LECOM is a big job,” Rep. Bizzarro said. “Adding a police dog to help deal with explosives detection or other searches will go a long way to helping those officers keep us safe.” 

The LECOM K-9 program would allow officers to conduct searches of suspicious items or vehicles during a bomb threat scenario or help search for missing or wanted persons. The scent-detection ability of the dog could be expanded in the future to include detecting COVID-19. This specialized law enforcement tool wouldn’t just benefit LECOM; this shared community resource will enhance Erie County’s emergency and terror threat responsiveness. Police departments from surrounding communities can request help if they found themselves in a situation that a K-9 would be needed. 

“LECOM in the third largest law enforcement agency in Erie County,” Bizzarro said. “They work with their neighbors to help when it’s needed and I’m glad to make this happen for us all.” 

“We would like to thank Rep. Bizzarro for securing this funding which will safeguard the LECOM educational facilities and improve Erie County’s emergency response readiness,” said Dr. Silvia Ferretti, the Provost, Senior Vice President, and Dean of Academic Affairs for LECOM. 

The $50,000 state grant only covers part of the total cost of the program. The startup cost for the program is approximately $80,000, with LECOM funding the remainder.